The University of Stanford held an election of sorts on a ballot measure.
For the purpose of this conversation, it should be noted.....it's a private college with about 16,000 students.
The discussion here is about the mandatory or non-mandatory status of a class for students in the university......Western Civilization.
The vote? Well.....6 to 1 against requiring it.
The purpose of Western Civilization as a class?
It's a basic and mostly structured class that goes through the Greek world, onto ancient Rome, and goes into European development over the past 2,000 years.
Typically, a lecture guy will cover the Renaissance, the Reformation, and the Enlightenment. There will be some chat over what happened in the Industrial Revolution, and how science charged up societies across Europe.
Christian society, Catholic society, and Muslim society would be discussed.
At the end of this.....you would stand there with a lot of information and probably more questions than answers. From the prospective of your specialized area (medicine, science, art, engineering, economics, or politics)....this provides you with a fair amount of analysis and gives you some skills to determine on what results will come out of a society shift or change.
For me? I was at two major colleges which never required Western Civilization. In fact, one of the.....a year into my connection to them....wanted to force me into an all-Saturday course (worthless in nature) on library science.
I never got a single dose of Greek or Roman culture, the Renaissance or Enlightenment. Most of what I have today is from my readings over the past four years....from forty-odd books. Toss in two dozen trips across Europe to various sites and I've picked up a lot of bits and pieces.....probably more than any professor could ever deliver.
If you ask me....it might be helpful to know where you came from and how you got to this point in life....no matter what your field of study is about. And maybe along the way.....you might realize that there's a lot of powerful stuff involved in life today, which came from lousy or great decisions of the past.